Category Archives: book review

Favorite Books of the Summer

So you remember two months ago when I did a post about all the books I had read but hadn’t yet reviewed and promised I would never let myself get that far behind again?

Yeah, well, that was a lie. So sorry. I really meant to be better at this! I’ve read 12 books since then, and I’ve reviewed half of them on Goodreads. I’m still (mostly) planning to review the other half, but for now I’m going to focus on sharing the ones I’ve already done. Below are my three favorite novels that I’ve read so far this summer. For a longer review of each, click on the picture, and it will take you to my Goodreads review.

I’ve also included links below to the reviews of books I didn’t enjoy that much.

 

  I’ve always known that you shouldn’t throw around words like OCD if you don’t actually have OCD, but I didn’t really get why it was such a big deal until I read this book. It’s a hard story to read at times, as Bea does so many things that don’t make sense to me, but that’s the point. The characters in here were so realistically flawed that I had to keep reading, even when it was hard. If you’re looking for a light, quirky romance, this isn’t for you.

 

I don’t generally like football or stories that involve football players, but Cora Carmack changes that here. For those who still don’t know if New Adult is for them, I recommend this book. There’s romance without it being overpowering, and the characters are great.


This is a great fast-paced read with adorable yet flawed characters. I only meant to read the first page, but it was so hard to put down. The ending was a bit silly, but everything else was so entertaining that I didn’t really care. Great cast of characters!

 

Other Books I’ve Read and Reviewed:

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn – 2/5

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – 3/5

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott – 4/5

Book Review Catch Up – NA and Adult

I recently posted the links to all the young adult books I’ve read so far this year. Today’s post will feature the new adult and adult books I’ve read, which include classics and nonfiction books. I actually meant to post this, like, a week ago, but I forgot. Apparently I’m still not used to updating this blog regularly. I’ll try to get better at that.  Again, all links take you to my GoodReads reviews.

 

Contemporary (New Adult)

1. Easy by Tammara Webber
Jacqueline’s saved from a sexual assault by a stranger – a stranger who seems to be popping up all over campus. Can she find the strength to move on and fight back?

2. Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Maise is 18 when she starts dating her teacher. Can they keep their relationship a secret? Is Evan hiding something from her? Who can she really trust?

Classic (Adult)

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Hopefully everyone knows what this is about. Young girl grows up in the South during the 1930s and learns about race and gender relationships as her father tries to show that a black man can receive a fair trial in the South.

4. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Another story most people probably know – guy and girl fall in love in a single night, get married the next morning, and cause four other deaths before finally killing themselves about four days after they meet.

Nonfiction (Adult)

5. He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut by Jessica Valenti
A look at 50 double standards that women have to live with, along with suggestions for how to change them.

6. Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot
Everyone says boys and girls are different, but most of those differences are very, very small and only get bigger because of the different ways we treat boys and girls.

7. Ace Your Teacher Interview by Anthony D. Fredericks
A list of 149 questions you’re likely to be asked in a teacher interview, along with suggested answers and general tips.

8. 50 Ways to Improve Student Behavior by Annette Breaux
A short book with tips on how to treat students with respect and how to be that teacher with very few behavior problems.

9. The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell
This book explains why having kids read for fun is the best way we can help them become critical thinkers.

Book Review Catch Up – Young Adult

As I recently mentioned, I’ve been horrible about keeping up with book reviews. I’ve read 22 books so far this year, but I’ve only posted 3 reviews so far on this blog. Instead of flooding this blog with book reviews, I’m just going to split the books into groups, tell you a little about each book, and then link to the review on GoodReads. Today, I’m going to focus on the young adult books I’ve read so far this year.

Contemporary

1. The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Girl is in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. She knows she shouldn’t be, but she can’t help it – and is it just her imagination, or is he starting to like her back?

2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King
Vera’s mother left her a long time ago, and now her best friend is dead. What does she know about the night he died that she’s not telling anyone?

3. Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
Sadie’s been in love with her best friend for years, but she eventually realizes that she needs to get over him if she’s ever going to move on with her life. Will she be able to figure out who she is without him?

4. Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
Since Rose’s dad died, her life hasn’t exactly been normal. It doesn’t help that her best friend is obsessed with sex or that she likes a guy she totally shouldn’t, or that she cant seem to stop causing trouble. Can things get any worse?

5. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Girl wants to create the best app ever and win scholarship money. But what if her app goes too far? WARNING: Worst book I’ve read this year.

6. The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez
Amelia’s always been overshadowed by her younger sister, Charly, but what happens when Charly does something totally unforgiveable? Can their relationship survive?

7. Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
Meredith was supposed to have 9 years of freedom before her pedophile father was released from jail. Instead, she got 3, and now she’s 15 and trapped. How can she survive the next 3 years?

8. The Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Ever since her dad caught her having sex when she was 13, Deanna’s life has been horrible. Her dad won’t look at her. Everyone at school thinks they know what she’s all about. The more time goes on, the more Deanna starts to think they might be right.

Science Fiction

9. Pivot Point by Kasie West
Addison’s part of a special community where everyone has special powers. Hers is that she can see both outcomes of any decision she has to make. When her parents tell her they’re getting divorced, she has to See the next 6 weeks to decide which parent she wants to live with. But what if she’s faced with an impossible decision?

10. Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
Can’t really tell much about this plot without spoiling the first. Let’s just say there are more characters and more questions that need to be answered.

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits (GoodReads)
Author: Katie McGarry
Page Count: 392
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary YA

Goodreads Summary:
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Opinion:
I’ve been hearing about this book forever, but it took me a while to get around to it. Now that I’ve finally read it, I understand why everyone loves this book.

Echo and Noah are interesting characters. They boy used to be part of the popular crowd, but then real life intervened. Noah’s parents died, leaving him to bounce between different foster homes trying to find comfort in drugs and sex while he struggles to gain custody of his younger brothers. Echo’s mother tried to kill her, but she can’t remember what happened – all she knows is that she has “freaky” scars on her arms that she constantly tries to hide.

I’ve read a lot of “good girl meets bad boy” stories, but this one seemed different. There were actual reasons behind all of their actions. They were complex characters that had relationships with other people. I liked reading both points of view, and I was actively cheering for this couple. They got involved a bit sooner than I thought, but this book also showed that just because you fall in love doesn’t mean you don’t still have to struggle to make the relationship work. I appreciated that a lot.

I also appreciated Echo’s relationship with her parents. At times I wanted to hit her for not hating her parents as much as I did, but of course they’re her parents, and it’s not always easy to hate people – especially when you’re still hoping for their love. Echo’s struggle to be good enough for her parents’ love was very relatable and heartbreaking.

I sort of wish the ending had been a bit longer. Things come together a bit quicker than I would have liked. There were also some parts in the middle where I felt the story dragged a bit. I started wondering what all we still had left to find out – or at least how what we had left to find out could possibly take up that many pages.

Still, this was a great book, one that I’m very glad I finally read.

4.5 stars

Book Review: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Perfect You (GoodReads) 
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Page Count: 282
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary

Goodreads Summary:
Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate’s invisible.

And then there’s Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can’t stand even though she can’t stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she’s sure she’s just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn’t realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen — but only if she lets them…

Opinion:
I probably shouldn’t have read this book right after I read Something, Maybe, as the same sorts of problems I encountered with that one showed up in this one. The dad was the same as in that one – a grown man who refuses to deal with negative emotions, who thinks only of himself, and who has practically zero redeeming qualities. There’s also a main character who’s so oblivious to the world around her that I have a hard time finding the plot believable at times.

I did like this book more than the previous one. I found myself relating to Kate more than I would care to admit. I wanted to hate her for jumping to (obviously false) conclusions and cutting Will off before he even got to finish a sentence, but that still sounds like something I would do: be so afraid of rejection and humiliation that you hurry to reject the other person first. It’s stupid, but I can definitely look back and see when I did that, so I guess it’s realistic.

I didn’t find Kate’s father all that realistic, but maybe I’m just lucky and haven’t come across someone like that. I just found him so infuriating, and I ended up hating everyone else in the family for not yelling at him, for continuing to make excuses for him as he throws their savings down the drain so he can follow his “dream” of selling vitamins, even though he was constantly leaving the kiosk to go to the movies or get food or buy video games. He was just so selfish and irresponsible, and it takes forever until someone besides their grandmother finally noticed.

Really, the only character I really liked (besides Will) was the grandmother, whom everyone else seemed to hate. I get that she can be a bit judgmental at times, but she obviously cares about them, and she’s right about most everything (except for the bright purple shoes), and it was annoying to watch everyone else side with the father when she would put him down, when clearly she was the one who was right.

It sounds like I hated this book, but I didn’t. I found Kate rather immature at times, and she was kind of annoying, but I could still mostly understand her, and I was looking forward to the moment when she would finally stop getting in her own way and just be able to get along with Will. He was cute and amusing. I don’t really understand why he put up with her, but my boyfriend puts up with me, so I guess it’s at least realistic. I loved their “10 second rule,” which is pretty much how my boyfriend and I correspond most of the time.

Overall, this book was rather infuriating, but it wasn’t horrible. And I got the ending I was hoping for, so it was mostly worth it in the end.

2 stars